(gnomic) These two positions don't even seem close

Wayne Leman wleman at mcn.net
Mon Aug 28 10:58:46 EDT 2000


I forget if I stated it in my first note in renewed tense/aspect topic that
keeps coming up, but I always try to mention that tense and aspect are
typically related in languages which have aspectual systems. Such is the
case with Greek as you have correctly pointed out. But I think Greek still
has an aspectual system, instead of a tense system. As you know, many
languages do not have "pure" systems, either tense or aspect, but, rather,
have some combinations of the two. Language theorists are often more "pure"
in their analysis than language users are in how they actually work the

Now, if we would all just give up speaking in categorical terms and instead
use prototype and scalar categories, all (note, absolutely all,
categorically so  <g>) of our difficulties would fade away and Greek tense
and aspect would be explain itself on first glance!  (Hah!)

For myself, I confess to preferring functional categories: How is this form
functioning within this context?

Wayne Leman
Bible translation site: http://bibletranslation.lookscool.com/

> Now if one is allowed a light touch with "egrapsen" above: for those in
> doubt this has past reference, but can be interpreted perfectly, and the
> situation might even have been or will be true generally or repeatedly.
> egrapsen was a simple past  :-)
> Randall Buth
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